It’s Monday 14th March 2005 and the Party


It’s Monday 14th March 2005 and the Party

Well what a week we have had – Shanie has been feeding an average of 80 for lunch each day with casual workers and camp staff swarming around getting everything ready for the big day. Our first guests arrived on Sunday – into Robin’s House and Friday is D-day for Nkwali camp. Still no kitchen, bathroom plaster is slowly drying before painting can start, roofs are being thatched and we are all utterly confident that it will be ready….well with everything crossed. It is the same in every camp, every year and it is always fine.

I am still feeling a bit muzzy headed this morning as Saturday was my 40th birthday party and we celebrated at Nkwali bar in fine style. Friends from the valley and Lusaka came up for the “event” and to help me mark the occasion….Well it may be a party but khaki habits die hard. It was also Simon and Shanie’s 1st wedding anniversary and so a few bottles of champers were definitely in order. Jo is away marketing at the moment and so missed the fun – this may be a good time to break the news that we may have “slightly” exceeded our beer and wine budget this week!!

You may think from some of the photos that it was a girls only night but this is Africa and the men were, as normal having their own party outside. Here they could happily discuss the merits of Landcruisers vs Landrovers and who has the most powerful boat engine uninterrupted by the women.

Simon had a surprise in his house this week when a young African goshawk flew in and perched on the rafters. After some mayhem Simon managed to catch it and release it outside. It has been flying around the house for quite a while and has been active in its hunting practice – catching, amongst other things, one of our resident sun squirrels. It is great to see young raptors around as they have high mortality rates once they leave the nest and start to fend for themselves.

young African goshawkSimon and young African goshawk

Staff gamedrives have been productive this week. Debs and Kerri have been out and about with our trainee guides and came across a young elephant just out side of camp, which bravely fronted up to them. Simon has also been in the park and saw a beautiful male kudu which are not commonly seen at this time of year – they are usually up in the back country where it is a little drier underfoot. The photo shows how well camouflaged they are in the bush – i.e. look hard and you will see him under the tree that has a pair of tawny eagles on it.

young elephant just out side of campwell camouflaged kudu

I went for a drive up to Chichele hill at the weekend and it was a superb morning. We saw super zebra and young impala whose horns are now sprouting through and showing that they are entering adolescence. Elephants are everywhere and it is a treat to see so many babies in the area. Warthog, puku and giraffe so nothing spectacular like a lion kill but it was just wonderful to be out in the park. I am never happier than sitting by a water lily covered lagoon, cup of tea in hand, waiting to see what will come to us. Well I am happier if there is a large slice of chocolate cake to go with the tea of course…

young impalasuper zebra

So all in all a hectic but fun week – par for the course at RPS
Stay well and have a great week
Cheerio

Kim

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